This post was originally published on 3/1/2018 and updated on 3/11/2019
It’s that time of year again! When all of the Christmas or winter decorations go away. When the snow and crappy weather slowly starts to become warmer and nicer! The time of year when we get that urge to freshen up our homes. Below are some tips to get it done efficiently and effectively.
Make A List
In order to be efficient, knowing what you want to get done will be critical. I honestly have a running list I keep my cleaning “want to do’s” tracked. The reason for this is because I will see something one day and then when I get a chance to clean I totally forgot that it was on my list. As I think of it I write it down. But to start take a lap around the house look from ceiling to floor and see what is everything you want to get accomplished, no matter how small. This is something you can keep so each year you can reuse it. Add on as you realize there is something you may have missed.
A great FREE App that can help you keep your list organized is the Cozi App. It’s free to use and can really help with organizing more than just your spring cleaning list. It works both on the PC and your phone, and can even be shared with the whole family.
Note: This post may contain affiliate links. Click here to read more.
Create A Plan
Once you have your list, then create a plan. Group your list together by like items. Maybe you want to tackle all of the ceiling fans in one day. Or maybe it works better for you to focus on one room at a time. Everyone is a little different on how they can manage cleaning. I do a mix, depending on how livable a space is and how much I am tackling that day. I wouldn’t want to do a ceiling fan in the kitchen if I am not planing on doing the rest of the kitchen that same day.
Figure out how much time you plan on spending to get things accomplished. Do you only have that weekend to get it done? Can you do a little each day after work? Give yourself a schedule. Then divide up the time to figure out how much time you should give for each group of tasks.
Plan your tasks by priority, if you run out of time you want to make sure you have completed most important task first. You can come back to the lower priority tasks later.
I am a huge fan of time intervals and time bucketing. Especially if you are short on time, but mostly it is the best way to keep focused. Set a timer for the time you are allotting yourself for a task. So you want to get all of your bathrooms cleaned in 1 hour. Set that timer for 1 hour, do not look at your phone, stop to check on the TV, or anything until that timer goes off. Stay focused.
I find it helps me most to stay focused if I am listening to an audio book. Audible is great for this, I love having audio books ready to stream or download. I have a pair of wireless ear buds, I stick them in as to not disturb anyone else in the house, and it keeps distractions limited. Works for music listeners too!
Once the timer is done take a quick break, check your phone, access what you completed and what your on to next. If you find something new to clean add it to your list.
This is critical. Do not save stuff just to save stuff. If you haven’t used it or if you didn’t even remember you had it. You most likely do not need it, especially if its something you cannot find a home for. Keeping in mind the less stuff you have, the less you have to clean and the easier it will be to maintain an organized space. Read more about why you should declutter here.
Start with Storage Places
I find it easier to work the rest of the house if my storage areas are cleaned up first. This way I know if I have to clear out another area that there may be room in the spare closet on a shelf or in a bin under the bed. Whatever, space you do have, tidy up and declutter. This includes bed room closets, linen closets, drawers, under the sinks. Then it will be easier to pick stuff up and put it away.
Work Top to Bottom
Nothing is worse than vacuuming a couch or putting fresh blankets on the bed to realize you still need to do the ceiling fan, light fixtures, or top of the bookcase. Start at the top. Ceiling corners, ceiling fans, tops of shelves. wall art and shelves. then work down to baseboards, floor vents, and finally the floors for last.
Here are some cleaning tools that may help make these task easier.
Cleaning Time Savers
When you are on a timer you don’t want any downtime. So you may want to put the toilet solution in, then spray your shower, while you wait for that stuff to kick in clean the glass and under the sink, or go to the next bathroom and spray it too. Anything that has to sit and wait find a task to work on in the meantime.
I also find when possible, especially in the bathroom and kitchen that it is easier to remove all of surface stuff before getting started. I used to just move from one part of the counter to the next then put it back but spent all that additional time moving things around. Now, I just move everything out of the way and then spray the whole area and go around and wipe down.
Find away to save time on different cleaning processes. For example: floor vents can maybe go into the dishwasher, so they can wash while you sweep and mop the floors.
Check this out for some cleaning hacks that will save you some time.
Now after you are done spring cleaning, take a look at your list. Is there anything on there that you could maintain better so that when this time comes it doesn’t seem like such a task? I have been following this system in my bathroom, for example, I do a 2 minute wipe down every day. I use a scrub brush I can keep in my shower to clean while I am in there. Then when it’s time to deep clean my bathroom it doesn’t take long, not as much scrubbing involved. You can read more about that here.
Also check out my post on How to Keep Your House Tidy Part 1: Set Your Home Up For Success.
Below is my cleaning list that you can use as a guideline to get you started!
- Ceiling Fans
- Dust corners
- Top of bookcases
- Wall Art
- Book Cases
- Wipe Kitchen Cabinents
- Wash bedding
- Dust all Shelves
- Wipe Doors and Walls.
- Washer and Dryer
- All Drawers
- All Closets
- Under All Furniture
- Under Appliances
- Wash Area Rugs
- Wipe Counters
- Floor Vents
- Scrub Carpet
Great tips! I especially second working top to bottom. Last year we shelled out to have our carpets professionally cleaned, and then we cleaned everything else. We ended up making a mess on the newly cleaned carpets! I learned the hard way to do the floors last.